Boating In & Around Rocky Mountain National Park

Boats in Rocky Mountain National Park

Canoes and kayaks are permitted on Park lakes except for Bear Lake. No water craft is permitted on Bear Lake. Many of the lakes are too shallow, so check with Park Information regarding boating on individual lakes. No motorized water craft is allowed within Rocky Mountain National Park.

West side

Bring your sailboats, kayaks, canoes, jet skis, water-skis, wakeboards, and paddle boards to Grand Lake (the largest natural lake in Colorado with spectacular mountain views).  Nearby Shadow Mountain Reservoir or Lake Granby on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park are also great for boating. Be prepared for cold water, 40° F - 60° F. in the spring and summer.
East side

For a leisurely tour of the smaller Lake Estes on the east side of Rocky, rent a foot-powered paddle boat at the marina.

Or plan a fishing trip or floating picnic on a pontoon boat, also available at the marina.

Sailboards are fun and colorful gliding across the water, but the water is cold and wet suits are needed. Fishing boats with small engines are allowed on Lake Estes, but, speed boats are limited to the skiing hours.
The Estes Valley Recreation & Park District designates Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday after 5:00 pm, May through September for water skiing on Lake Estes. Again, wet suits are recommended.
The Poudre River in Roosevelt National Forest, north of Rocky Mountain National Park, offers extensive kayak runs. Estes Park has a kayak run through town.
Carter Lake and Horsetooth Reservoir in the foothills near Fort Collins and Estes Park are large bodies of water popular for motor boats, skiing and sailing.